Beaufort News

No change in status of Beaufort girl fighting rare brain infection

The status of Hannah Collins, the 11-year-old Beaufort County girl fighting a rare brain infection, remained unchanged Friday.

A post on the family’s Facebook page, Prayers for Hannah Katherine, on Friday afternoon featured a screenshot of a post by Elizabeth Crockett, Hannah’s mother.

“There seems to be some confusion on Facebook as I scroll through comments,” the post read. “My angel has not yet departed but Jesus is calling her as we wait in this time of great despair.”

The post went on to thank friends and community members for their support. “God is requesting an angel,” it said, “and sadly it happens to be my precious Hannah.”

A spokesperson for Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston — where the Facebook page and a GoFundMe website say Hannah is being treated — said there was “no information to report on that name” when asked Friday morning about her status. (On Wednesday, the hospital said it had no record of Hannah, but an employee said a family request or other circumstances could have kept the patient confidential.)

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Neither the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office nor its counterpart in Charleston had any information about Hannah’s condition on Friday.

“The family appreciates the tremendous outpouring of love and support and asks that you continue to keep Hannah and her medical team in your thoughts and prayers,” family friend Kate Olin said in a statement provided on behalf of the family to The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet on Thursday.

Another family friend said the family is asking for privacy.

Hannah Collins was infected with a brain-eating amoeba last month in Charleston County, according to the GoFundMe page set up for her family. That information was confirmed Thursday morning by a family friend.

Her outlook is bleak, according to an update from family Thursday night. A post on the Facebook page providing updates on her condition said Hannah has irreparable brain damage and that doctors have done everything they can.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed in a news release Tuesday someone had been exposed to the organism Naegleria fowleri — commonly referred to as the “brain-eating amoeba” — while swimming on the Edisto River in Charleston County on July 24.

The amoeba is common in warm-water lakes, rivers and streams but infection it causes — primary amebic meningoencephalitis— is rare, the release said.

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